The relationship becomes very awkward when Troy enters the scene because Gabriel possesses one of the best human qualities considerations for others; he always wants the best for Bathsheba even though she knocks him back. Until the very lateral stages of the novel Oak’s love is eventually reciprocated but when it is, it is true love. Oak, as I said Oak is very complex character when it comes to love especially at the five levels of attraction.
He is intelligent when it comes to farming; he wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve however psychologically he is as strong as an oak and he is eventually handsome because hardy promotes the idea that beauty lies in that of the beholder. In chapter 21, Bathsheba’s hour of need where her sheep begin to self-combust and the only man who knows how to prevent the sheep exploding is Oak. On her first call of help oak rejects it because he knows she will ask again and he wants to teach her some integrity. The second plea is on an extremely personal tone as she sends him a hand written note with the words, ‘Do not desert me Gabriel!
‘ This true act of kindness is a symbol of his love however he proves it further when the storm hits Bathsheba’s farm. In chapter 37 the symbolism of instability and anger is represented by the fierce storm and the neglect of the corn by Troy. Hardy named this Chapter ‘The Storm- The Two Together’ implying this is the way it should be. As the storm becomes very severe and pressure is on Gabriel he always calls Bathsheba ma’am this shows he respect her. The pinnacle of the chapter is where the storm becomes extremely fierce and Oak holds tight to Bathsheba as,
“Heaven opened then, indeed. The flash was almost too novel for it’s inexpressibly dangerous nature top be at once realized, and they could only comprehend the magnificence of it’s beauty. ” This shows that they both felt safe and secure although everything around them was losing there stability and this is because the ideal that love will always prevail through good and bad that Hardy has tried to emphasise through out the novel. Hardy promotes many things as what should be required for a successful relationship and the ideals that he promotes are still or even more relevant today.
Oak, we are told is not the most attractive man however Bathsheba still marries him promoting the ideal beauty is skin deep. Oak is far from perfect however according to Hardy the key to perfection is imperfection. In the course of true love there are many converging courses and Hardy shows all of these by the actions of his characters. Love will always be the most desired thing by people but what’s more they want to be loved. Hardy promotes the obvious qualities that should be required for a successful relationship Empathy, Happiness, Trust, Respect and most of all Love.